What Do You Serve for Thanksgiving?

Updated on October 29, 2009
J.P. asks from Newark, TX
12 answers

This is the first year that Thanksgiving will be at my house and a little nervous. What do you serve for Thanksgiving?

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answers from Dallas on

If you want to cook the meal yourself I highly recommend going to savingdinner.com and checking out their Thanksgiving menu - it gives you recipes, grocery lists, time lines, etc. I've used it the last two years and loved it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Go to honey baked ham and buy a ham and turkey breast
a carrot cake and dressing
go home and make macaroni and cheese
greens beans
yams with marshmallows
some dinner rolls
greens and pumpkin pie and eat up

That's what I do

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It's VERY traditional. It's what we both grew up with -- combined. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, home-made mac & cheese, yeast rolls, pumpkin & pecan pie (sometimes a fruit pie & another green veg if we're having more company).

We start the day with a big breakfast and snack on a family-recipe dip that's only served on Thanksgiving & Christmas.

We just combined our favorites and the thing we simply could not give up from our families' traditions when we married and came up with what our children now call "theirs". Make the things that comfort you and your family. It'll turn out perfect!

Enjoy making your traditions,
R. F.


answers from Dallas on

The only thing I might add to all this good advice is dependant upon the size of your group. If is a big group, this is a big job. You could ask if anyone wants to bring their favorite homemade dish or dessert. You could get a few store bought things to keep down the stress (like I buy the frozen giblet gravy that Tom Thumb bakery gets in which is good). We always do the turkey but sometimes I get a little honeybaked ham to add in for variety. I love Boston Market's sweet potato casserole best. Things like that. If you try out something new and unusual that might or might not be great, keep the standard one too (like various stuffings).

Appetizers and limited drinks are good ideas too.



answers from Dallas on

the year i hosted it, i served the basics and had people bring things. i made turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, and 2 desserts, as well as some appetizers. my family filled in the rest. i had lots of leftovers to shove off on them!

hints: do most of your shopping early, as the stores will be a madhouse the day before. prepare as much as you can a few days in advance (organize and wash dishes that you will need, set out decorations, chop vegetables, organize recipes, etc.).


answers from Dallas on

Lots of great suggestions already.

In addition to the traditional dishes mentioned, we usually make an ethnic dish (in our house that means Meat Dumplings & Kugula).

Also, whenever I host a big meal like this, I make sure to set snacks out before everyone gets there... relish tray with black/green olives, sweet & dill pickles, etc.... Veggie tray with mini carrots, celery sticks, sliced cucumbers, etc... bowl of nuts or pretzels. That way, if people come starving, and you're not planning on serving right away, they can still snack. The veggie tray, or a fruit bowl also give options for people who want to eat a little healthier, even on the holiday.

Good luck!
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answers from Dallas on

We'll do the honeybaked ham thing this year (will be having a baby "any minute" by Thanksgiving), and that's what we did when my 3 year old son was 1 month old, too. The ham is AWESOME, and it's so nice to have something so good and not have to do any work. The honeybaked ham store is super organized and really painless to just walk in, walk the little circle, and come out again with no stress. Something they sell that I really love is a ready made sweet potato souffle (just pop it in the oven). With the ham (OR a cajun fried turkey) we love a dish from home called spinach madeline (SO good!), baked sweet potatoes with a little butter and cinnamon, some cranberry sauce, and rolls or a good quality flaky french bread. For dessert, I make a pumpkin roll and serve a fruit pie, pecan pie, or a pecan-brandy concoction that is pretty naughty. A fried turkey makes some SUPER gumbo as leftovers (do a chicken-sausage gumbo, but use turkey instead). If I'm doing a roasted or smoked turkey, it's more traditional fare (similar to what was already mentioned with about every other post). I've also done some neat holiday dinners with cornish hens, sweet potato souffle, green bean casserole, (OR corn souffle and spinach madeline) and a minced pie. I like to try different appetizers every time, just to make it interesting, and because we really don't serve appetizers except at the holidays or a party. Just have fun with it, and if it's daunting, ask guests to bring a side dish. To us, holiday traditions aren't just about what food needs to be on the table but the deeper meanings and family togetherness that make it a holiday to begin with. YOU make YOUR traditions, and enjoy coming up with them as you go!



answers from Dallas on

My husband does not like turkey too much so we have spiral sliced ham as our main dish, turkey breast for those that like turkey, mashed potatoes w/ gravy, rolls, green bean casserole, yams, stuffing and a couple of pies for the sweets. I agree that maybe you can ask people to bring a dish, which will help out.



answers from Dover on

we mostly go with the traditional dinner; turkey, stuffing, mac and cheese, veggies, rolls, and deserts..pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and chocolate pie..only because I only like chocolate pie :)

Have a great Thanksgiving this year with your family!!


answers from Dallas on

Our holidays are just hubby, daughter and myself.

I LOVE to cook and love it even more during the holiday season. I make a very traditional dinner, even if it is for the 3 of us. I have enough food to feed an army but it is our tradition. We enjoy the leftovers as well...

I have roasted, stuffed turkey, sweet potato casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, home made cranberry sauce, a side of stuffing that is not cooked inside the bird, bread and pumpkin pie.

For Christmas Eve or New Years...I do a prime rib.

Hope that helps.



answers from Dallas on

This will be our first Thanksgiving at our house with family joining us, as our families are all up north. We are doing the traditional feast, which we usually did when it was just us anyway. We will add some desserts this year since there will be more people. Our usual fare includes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, rolls, dessert (usually apple pie, but will include a pumpkin one this year as well).

If your guests are coming over before dinner, you can serve simple appetizers such as cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, etc. You could also ask your guests to bring a dish to share as well to cut down on all that you are preparing.

I hope that this helps you out!



answers from Dallas on

If it's just going to be you and the youngun, I'd pick up a nice turkey breast and bake it instead of a WHOLE bird, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, burn and serve (i mean BROWN AND SERVE) rolls, gravy.

It's simple but meaningful and you all are together.

If you're cooking for a slew of folks, it is what ever your hearts desire.

My cousin has fajitas. My neighbor always has ham. A few friends of ours has a cookout, watches the game and passes out. So if you want to have the "traditional" Thanksgiving meal...it depends on what kind of tradition you want to pass on to your kids.

If you're having Turkey tho...may I suggest brining it 24 hours before cooking it. Seals in the moisture and makes for one of the juiciest turkey's I've ever made.

Smiles and Good Luck to you!!

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